Love-Youthfulness of Love. La jeunesse et l'Amour (1877).

William Bouguereau.
The youthfulness of love.
la jeunesse et l'amour (1877)
Musee d'Orsay, Paris,

la jeunesse et l'amour The youthfullness of love

In this painting titled La jeunesse et l'Amour-Youthfulness of Love by William Bouguereau a slim young woman, possibly even Venus herself is crossing a stream. She is naked and has a silky blue green cloak; hanging loosely behind her back that perhaps may have slipped from her body while she was lifting cupid up onto her shoulders in order to prevent him from getting wet. Part of the cloak is still visible on her upper right arm where it appears to be hanging loosely as the cloak trails slightly in the water and blows to the right of her body suggesting that there maybe a slight cold breeze. She has firm medium rounded breasts and is portrayed with perky erect nipples also a sign that she may be feeling the chill from the breeze.

She is carefully crossing a small shallow stream or pond in what appears to be a woodland using the rocks that lay beneath her feet as stepping stones. Behind her to the left and right of the picture you can see that the stream is running quite quickly creating small waterfalls that drop down to the level where the young woman has chosen to cross. Cupid who is balancing playfully on her shoulders appears to be trying to get her attention as his body is twisted slightly and he is holding onto her head and left arm so as to enable himself to stare cheekily at her. Perhaps seeking her assurance that she will not let him slip and fall into the water. The young woman is returning his gaze with a look that suggests she is aware of his concern and is indeed offering cupid the love and reassurance that he seeks.

This is a signed piece and you can see William Bouguereau's signature and the date in the bottom left corner of the piece.

The above account is my interpretation of the work and should in no way be taken as fact.